Before I begin talking about how excited I am to be heading off to Siena, Italy (which, by the way, is really excited..), there are a few things I feel like I should address.
But anyone that knows me well or has talked to me prior to me going on a trip has heard the phrase “I hate packing” roughly seventeen times. It always starts like this: I get excited and lay half of the items I’ll need on my bed. Then I pause for a “break” and proceed to get overwhelmed by everything else I have to pack (which usually isn’t actually that much). Sometimes a nap gets thrown into the mix. It’s an ugly process. So, in an attempt to avoid all of this mess, I typed up a packing list.
When it’s all said and done…and by “it’s”, I mean the packing process, I hope that I’ll be able to say that this list really helped with my packing problem. Although, there’s no way that I can promise I’ll eliminate napping from my list. Or that I won’t get distracted by this cute little packing assistant..
Second, I would like to apologize for adding yet another “I’m a Junior studying abroad my spring semester and I’m keeping a blog!” blog to my Facebook news and other social media outlets. But I promise it will be helpful for those of you thinking of studying abroad in the future. I’ll tell you all of the great things I do and see whilst abroad so you can use those things as a guide for yourself, in Italy or elsewhere. I’ll also tell you all of the not so great things I do and see, in hopes that you can avoid those things. And for those of you who just want to keep up with me and all of my adventures in Italy, I promise to give you just that in this blog. There will also be a poem or two every once in a while, and I’ll try to make those as painless as possible for everyone who reads them.
After that lengthy introduction, I’m finally getting to the part of this blog where I actually talk about going abroad! There are two words that come up a lot when you talk about going abroad: anxious and excited. Luckily, I’m having zero feelings of anxiety about going abroad. None. I don’t think that’s because I’m a travel expert (really, I’m not), but because I already feel comfortable about my abroad situation. That is, I’m comfortable with IES. After going to IES Dublin for a month two years ago, I’m free of anxieties about my study abroad program, because I know what to expect. As far as getting to Siena goes, I know that I’ll have Dana and Grace (two great friends from Wofford who also happened to choose the IES Siena program, I’m sure they’ll make many appearances on this blog) with me to navigate any airports/train stations/traveling/etc. It’s odd to have a feeling of comfort going into this experience, when I know that I’m about to completely step out of my comfort zone.
As far as preparation goes, I’m a big fan of lists. As I’m sure you gathered from the first part of this blog. But for some reason, I can’t stop making lists as I prepare to go abroad.
There’s the obvious packing list:
The travel list (All of these countries are places where some of my Wofford friends will be studying):
-More to be added, of course
The “don’t you dare pack this in your checked luggage” list:
And the “eat this in Italy” list:
I think one of my goals when I go abroad is to accomplish all of the things on these lists, and add more things to each list and create many more while I’m abroad. But as far as packing goes, I guess if all else fails, I’ll just take this in my suitcase. Italians like kittens, right?
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi there! My name is Natalie Clark and I go to college in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I'm an English major with Creative Writing and Gender Studies concentrations. While I love my hometown in Arkansas, I've also gotten really into traveling since starting college (as one would assume, considering the fact that I'm studying abroad) and I can't wait to explore while I'm in Italy...okay, okay...and eat a lot of pasta.</span></p>